By now their stories are eerily familiar: “It came in the night while I was sleeping,” they say. “It had a triangular face—small chin and large, almond-shaped eyes. I was probed by sharp objects…
Well, I have news for people who imagine they’ve had a close encounter with an extraterrestrial being. It didn’t come from outer space, and it wasn’t an alien life form. It was just a cat.
In my case it’s a neighbor’s cat. Her name, I recently learned, is Jezebel, and evidently she’s in love with me. I say that because she just refuses to go home to the family that adopted her five years ago when she was just a kitten. As far as I can tell, it’s a good home. Yet for some perverse reason Jezebel likes it better here.
Most likely what brought us together is a common interest: bird watching. Except that whenever I see a bird in my garden, I don’t automatically begin stalking it. The birdseed I put out, I don’t think of it as “bait.”
I can’t very well blame Jezebel for being a homicidal maniac; she’s only carrying on as nature intended, and when it comes to natural design—let’s face it–cats are the ultimate predators. They are stealthy and swift, with supernatural hearing and night vision. They are equipped with claws and strong jaws that are filled with sharp, pointy teeth. They have no qualms about killing.
So WHY do we make pets of cats? Well, when they’re not murdering some poor, defenseless creature, they are warm and soft and cuddly. They purr when petted and like to snuggle, which is more than I can say for the girls I dated in high school. True, they almost never do as they’re told. Unlike dogs, cats refuse to be “owned.” Jezebel is no exception; in fact, she’s worse than most.
Recently I met her owner, who is a nice person and rightfully perplexed that Jezebel stays away for days at a time. I promised that I would stop feeding Jezebel, and from time to time I’ve tried to chase her away. However, she’s not always in my yard. I suspect she may be cuddling up to someone else even as I write this. Am I hurt? I try not to be, but it’s hard. I mean, I’m the guy for whom Roy Orbison wrote love songs—except for the one in which the girl who gets away reconsiders and “comes walking back” to Roy. No one ever came walking back to me. Except for Jezebel. Lovely Jezebel.